Chinook Salmon

The Chinook salmon, is the largest species in the Pacific (Oncorhynchus) salmon family. Other commonly used names for the species include king salmon, Quinnat salmon, spring salmon and Tyee salmon. Chinook are anadromous fish native to the north Pacific Ocean and the river systems of western North America ranging from California to Alaska. They are also native to Asian rivers ranging from northern Japan to the Palyavaam River in the Siberian far east, although only the Kamchatka Peninsula supports relatively persistent native populations. They have been introduced to other parts of the world, including New Zealand and the Great Lakes. A large Chinook is a prized and sought-after catch for a sporting angler. The flesh of the salmon is also highly valued for its dietary nutritional content, which includes high levels of important omega-3 fatty acids.

The Chinook is blue-green,red or purple on the back and top of the head with silvery sides and white ventral surfaces. It has black spots on its tail and the upper half of its body. Its mouth is often dark purple to black. Adult fish range in size from 24 to 36 in (610 to 910 mm) but may be up to 58 inches (1,500 mm) in length; they average 10 to 50 pounds (4.5 to 23 kg).

Salmon feed on planktonic diatoms, copepods, kelps, seaweeds, jellyfish, and starfish. As with all salmonid species, they also feed on insects, amphipods, and other crustaceans while young, and primarily on other fish when older. Young salmon feed in streambeds for a short period until they are strong enough to journey out into the ocean and acquire more food. Chinook juveniles divide into two types: ocean type and stream type. Ocean-type chinook migrate to saltwater in their first year. Stream-type salmon spend one full year in fresh water before migrating to the ocean. After a few years in the ocean, adult salmon, then large enough to escape most predators, return to their original streambeds to mate. Chinook salmon can have extended lifespans, where some fish spend one to five years in the ocean, reaching age eight. More northerly populations tend to have longer lives.

Species Information

Scientific Name:Oncorhynchus tshawytscha
Environment:Lake, River, Inshore, Nearshore, Surf
Ideal Temp:52-63°F (11-17°C)
Technique:Bottom Fishing, Casting, Fly, Trolling
Lure Type:Bottom Rig, Flies, Plugs, Spoons, Topwater, Trolling
World Record:44.11 kg (97 lb 4 oz) Kenai River, Alaska, USA
Other Names:blackmouth, Chinook, king salmon, quinnant, spring salmon, tyee, black salmon

Latest Chinook Salmon Fishing Reports and Spots

Winter Blackmouth in the Holliday season - 11/30/2013 6:15:32 PM

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! We have had much to be thankful for and for one your support and company is at top of Tyee Charters lis (View)

Good winter Blackmouth fishing - 11/22/2013 3:50:23 PM

Fishing has been good over the past few weeks for Winter Blackmouth on Puget Sound. We have been primarily fishing the MA 10 area spoons and fla (View)

Fall Salmon Fishing - 4/15/2013 12:55:20 AM

Fishing on Puget Sound continues to be productive for Coho Salmon and a few good sized Blackmouth. We have been fishing MA 9 and 10 lately with (View)

Winter Blackmouth and Steelhead - 4/15/2013 12:55:18 AM

We have had great fishing lately for Blackmouth on Puget Sound. Blackmouth are immature Chinook. They tend to average 22-27″ but larger fish int (View)

Great fishing in the New Year - 4/15/2013 12:55:17 AM

Happy New Year! Great fishing over the past few weeks is promising for good fishing to come. We have had some good fishing on the Olympic Penins (View)

Charleston Bump - 12/25/2012 2:35:05 AM

The Charleston Bump is a deepwater bottom feature 80 to 100 miles southeast of Charleston, South Carolina. The Bump rises from the relatively fl (View)

Blackmouth fishing still going strong through end of April - 5/31/2012 9:08:03 PM

Blackmouth fishing still going strong through end of April so still some time to get out and do some winter fishing. Still waiting to hear from (View)

- 10/22/2012 7:48:00 PM

What a great week! I got to spend some time with my great friends from Minnesota. We started out over size fishing on the Willamette. Fished abo (View)

- 12/16/2014 6:14:00 PM

Since i have not shared pics since March here is a recap of the year. We finished up strong on the oversize on the Willamette. Spring chinook s (View)

Summertime Gear Guide - 6/23/2015 9:26:05 AM

Summertime in the Puget Sound is one of the best times to get outside enjoy the beautiful place we call home and chase some fish! Our local riv (View)